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by Enrique Perez

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Approaching Provincetown from the air, the expansive, sandy beaches of Herring Cove, the navy blue Atlantic waters, and the magnificent dunes inspire awe, as they have for thousands of other visitors each year to this Cape Cod beachside resort. All along P-town’s famous Commercial Street you will encounter a plethora of rainbow flags, quaint shops with white trimming, inns, B&Bs, restaurants, galleries, and throngs of people enjoying one of the most GLBT-welcoming towns in America.

When it comes to accommodations, P-town has some of the finest GLBT-owned properties in the country. Under new ownership, The Pilgrim House (336 Commercial Street. Tel: 508-487-6424. has perked up its look with an updated, modern contemporary design. Expect your room here to have a queen-size bed covered with high-thread count white sheets, accent pillows in nautical greens and blues, an iHome docking station and alarm clock, and Rusk spa-inspired bath amenities. Located above Vixen nightclub, it is the perfect location for those wanting to be where all the action is. Guests staying on the second floor should be wary that noise might be heard until 1 A.M. from the shows and dancing below.

Those wanting a quiet night’s rest should check out the Somerset House Inn (378 Commercial Street. Tel: 508-487-0383. Highly visible, due to its lavender exterior, the inn is located in the middle of Commercial Street, a short walk to nearby restaurants and clubs. Beautiful interior archways decorated with custom stained glass welcome guests into the cozy B&B. Gay-owned and open year round, Somerset House offers boldly painted rooms with plush bedding, a fireplace for cool nights, and a complimentary hot breakfast with items like homemade blueberry pancakes and quiche. Ever thoughtful, the Somerset staff also offers guests shuttle service from the Provincetown airport or ferry.

The Brass Key Guesthouse (67 Bradford Street. Tel: 508-487-9005. underwent a large-scale revamping recently. Over a million dollars was spent renovating the gay-owned hotel’s 43 guest rooms and the development of two new luxury suites. The Cabana Suite and Penthouse Suite both boast pampering amenities like a king-size bed, flat screen TV, two person glass shower, Franklin stove, and private deck. Walk outside and toward the very back of the establishment, behind the Queen Anne building and spa area, and you’ll find the ideal setting for your wedding or next private party at the new Events Pavilion. The sweeping staircases will take you to a white pergola surrounded by pristine flowers and manicured bushes. “The Brass Key has always been one of the premiere hotels in Provincetown,” says Kenneth Masi, one of three owners. “It just needed a little TLC.”

A new addition to P-town is The Waterford Inn, Cafe & Tavern (386 Commercial Street. Tel: 508-487-6400. Formerly The Commons, this gay-owned establishment was completely renovated this past spring. Under the slogan, “Pampered luxury in the heart of it all,” the inn boasts 13 deluxe rooms and suites with contemporary décor, private decks with views of Provincetown Harbor and Pilgrim Monument, and even a nightly wine and hors d’oeuvres reception to welcome guests. The Waterford Café offers casual dining with food ranging from seafood specials to oven-baked pizza and pasta. Don’t forget to enjoy a martini at Captain Lavender’s rooftop tavern deck as you watch the crowd on Commercial Street below.

Dining options abound in P-town, and those who appreciate a simple, Zen-like environment should book a table at the new Pan-Asian restaurant, Wabi Dumplings (206 Commercial Street. Tel: 508-413-3300. A mainly outdoor location, Wabi’s décor would best be described as industrial Asian fusion, with stainless steel tables, Japanese Sumi ink paintings, and an herb garden filled with hibiscus and pansies. Meaning “earthy, rustic, natural, and unpretentious” in Japanese, Wabi provides diners seasonally fresh, organic, and locally grown food. Celebrated chefs Mike Fennelley and Ellen Rossi prepare delectable dumpling versions of tuna spring rolls, lobster rolls, or chicken and steak satay. Also available are non-dumpling choices, like the Wabi burger, which can be enjoyed next to a Thai Buddha statue in the restaurant’s courtyard facing Commercial Street. An environmentally friendly restaurant, Wabi’s owners make sure that all of their packaging is recyclable, sustainable, and biodegradable.

Fine lines, a cathedral ceiling, dark wood chairs, and a stone fireplace make Victor’s (175 Bradford Street. Tel: 508-487-1777. an ideal place for dinner with friends and family. Serving everything from breakfast to cocktails, Victor’s menu includes a raw bar filled with oysters, clams, shrimp, and sashimi. If raw seafood isn’t your thing, Victor’s also has a “small plates” dinner, appropriately sized for tasting and sharing, which includes delicacies like crispy coconut shrimp, tagine style lamb shank, and pan-seared salmon. Owner Victor Depaulo also provides guests an extensive wine and cocktail menu that is sure to quench your thirst and not break the bank.

If you’re more in the mood for sushi and sashimi, try some of the maguro, unagi, and, of course, sake at the new SAKI, Sushi Bar (258 Commercial Street. Tel: 508-487-4870). Over 18 months, owner Steven Schnitzer transformed this former nineteenth-century church into a stunning, two-story, sushi and Asian fusion restaurant and bar. Twenty-foot ceilings, expansive windows, and one-of-a-kind lighting fixtures, set SAKI apart from your typical Japanese restaurant. “It would remind you of a place that would be in Manhattan or Miami,” describes Provincetown Tourism Director Bob Sanborn. Also an eco-friendly restaurant, SAKI’s tables and sushi bar were made from floorboards and beams salvaged during construction.


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The new dog park along Rte. 6 is a great addition to P-Town! While the town is dog-friendly, it's helpful to have a space where your pooch can be fenced in and run freely.
- Natalie McDonald , Philadelphia

My dogs loved the new dog park in Provincetown! They also loved their morning romps off leash on the town beaches. It was great not to have to keep in in our hotel room when we wanted to eat. Many places let dogs in their patio areas. Ptown & dogs rock!
- Mark , new jersey

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